Eva Åkesson

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Eva Barbro Helen Åkesson (born 30 December 1961 in Ängelholm) is a Swedish professor of chemical physics and, since 2012, Rector of Uppsala University. She was previously Pro-Rector of Lund University.


After taking the social sciences programme at Ängelholm Upper Secondary School, Åkesson studied chemistry at Umeå University, where she went on to complete a doctorate in physical chemistry in 1989.[1] She subsequently joined the faculty of Lund University as a researcher and teacher, later serving as director of studies in chemistry. In 2003, Rector Göran Bexell appointed her to one of the two newly established positions as Vice-Rector at Lund University, with special responsibility for undergraduate studies.

In 2008 she was invited to apply for the position of Rector, to succeed Bexell. Although Per Eriksson was appointed as Rector, the university board made it clear at an early stage that it wished to see Åkesson as Pro-Rector of the university, and she was formally appointed to this position on 15 December 2008. She was Pro-Rector 2009–2011.

In 2011 she became Professor of chemical physics at Lund University.

On 11 October 2011, the University Board of Uppsala University proposed Eva Åkesson as the new Rector (formally known as Rectrix Magnifica).[2] The government decided on 24 November 2011 to appoint her Rector from 1 January 2012, succeeding Anders Hallberg. The inauguration was held on 16 December 2011.[3][4] She was the first woman to become Rector of Uppsala University.[5]

In February 2014, eight deans (faculty heads) and three vice-rectors (who head the university’s Disciplinary Domains) at Uppsala university demanded that Åkesson leave her position, with allegations of a poor leadership style on her part.[6] The university board (consistory) gave Åkesson their vote of confidence and she remained, while the three vice-rectors left their positions.[7] A year later, Åkesson commented on the leadership crisis, saying that she could have prepared herself better for her position as Rector.[8]


  • Member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Uppsala, 2011
  • Honorary member of Uplands nation, 2012
  • Honorary member of Rotary Östra Uppsala, 2014
  • Honorary member of Lund Science Student Union, 2014
  • Honorary Curator, Lund student nations, 2014
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Edinburgh, June 2015

Personal life[edit]

She is the daughter of Mikko Åkesson and Barbro Lundegård and was formerly married to Henrik Hedman, an upper secondary school teacher. She lives in Uppsala.


  1. ^ Åkesson, Eva (1989). Isomerization dynamics in solution: a time-resolved study. Umeå University. ISBN 91-7174-420-7.
  2. ^ "Rekrytering av rektor och prorektor". uu.se. Uppsala University. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. ^ Waara, Anneli. "New Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor for Uppsala University with new year". uu.se. Uppsala University. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  4. ^ Åkesson, Eva. "Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson's Programme Address at the Inauguration of the Vice-Chancellor, Grand Auditorium, Uppsala University, 16 December 2011". Alvin Portal. Uppsala University. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Register of Vice-Chancellors". uu.se. Uppsala University. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  6. ^ Skeri, Niklas (19 February 2014). ""Rektor försöker skrämma medarbetare"". Upsala Nya Tidning (in Swedish). Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  7. ^ Nilsson, Mårten; Thyselius, Erik (27 February 2014). "Rektor Eva Åkesson sitter kvar" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  8. ^ Miller, Andreas (22 June 2015). "Nu talar Eva Åkesson om rektorskrisen på Uppsala universitet" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 15 February 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ann Numhauser-Henning
Pro-Rector of Lund University
Succeeded by
Eva Wiberg
Preceded by
Anders Hallberg
Rector of Uppsala University
1 January 2012 –
Succeeded by
Still in office